Snowbirds snatching up Southwest Florida real estate

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In a recent article detailing the Canadian influence on Florida real estate over the past decade, buyers from Toronto and other parts of Canada had been the primary overseas buyers of real estate in Florida.
Now the market has changed with increased competition coming from Asian investors who are buying increasing amounts of Florida real estate in bulk, up to 30 condos and homes at a time, as they see Southwest Florida homes and condo deals at great prices for the value they are getting.

Asian interest in Florida real estate started picking up last year, according to industry insiders.
Buyers are looking for good opportunities and see that Florida is still on sale.

But, some say it’s not Asian buyers that Canadian snowbirds face as their greatest competition for Florida housing deals, but investor groups making “bulk investments” – buying up dozens of condos at a time. For example, the Blackstone Group LP, a U.S. private real estate firm, recently spent $2.5 billion snatching up 16,000 houses in nine U.S. cities, including Miami. The investor plans to turn the homes into rentals.

“They are, in essence, wiping out the bottom of the market. It’s forcing other buyers to move up the price ladder,” says John Tuccillo, chief economist for Florida Realtors.

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